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  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Live morning call-in program with  
   government officials, political leaders, and journalists.  

    November 16, 2012
    7:00 - 9:00am EST  

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>> yesterday, the justice department announced that he beat the oil companies had agreed to accept criminal irresponsibility on the 2010
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disaster that left 11 men dead and resulted in the worst offshore oil spill in u.s. history. that announcement is where we want to begin with you this morning. what are your thoughts on the record-setting $4.50 million fine and the recovery effort in the gulf. give us a call on the democratic line or the republican line or the independent line. host: you can also catch up with us on all your favorite social media sites on twitter, facebook and email us at journal @c-span.org. a very good morning to you. want to begin as we said with
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that $4.5 billion fine of b.p. over the oil spill from 2010. here's the front page of the "houston chronicle" this morning. b.p. stock with $4.5 billion fines. the column notes that finally justice for 11 lyes lost. another headline, b.p. pleads guilty, a picture of the deep water horizon rig there from the incident. and want to take you to "the advocate" also in louisiana. oil firm to plead guilty to charges in death. b.p. agrees to pay out $4.5 billion in debt. and a day of reckoning arrives for b.p. on thursday. we'll read you the front page
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story from the "wall street journal" now. b.p. slapped with record fines. they agreed to accept criminal responsibility for the 2010 deep water horizon disaster that killed 11 workers and paid $4.5 billion in fines and restitution. the biggest fine ever levied by the u.s. justice department. but the oil producer still faces a costlier battle for the pollution unleashed when the drilling rig exploded in the gulf of mexico and caused the worst offshore oil spill in u.s. history. they will plead guilty to 11 felony counts of seaman's manslaughter, admitting its workers we are neglect when they omitted a key well safety test. the company will also plead guilty to one felony count of obstruction from congress stemming from the false information it gave about the rate that the oil was leaking from the well. comments already coming in from
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facebook this morning. about that spill and that penalty announcement. mark beady writes in on facebook, pay it and move on. host: and we're taking your calls this morning. the lines are open. we have a special line just for
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gulf coast residents. point you to the front page of the financial times this morning, talking a little bit more about what else, b.p. spill faces in this case. they still face action for civil penalties and damages federal, state and local authorities. b.p. had hoped to resolve all the civil and criminal actions in this one case but talks have been complicated by disagreements among the parties over how a settlement should be shared out. eric holder, u.s. attorney general said they would push for more in civil penalties. he noted we're looking forward to the trial in which we intend to prove that b.p. was grossly neglect in causing the oil spill. we'll take a few calls on this now. steen is from desoto, missouri
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on the democratic line. thank you for calling. caller: thank you. around here where i live in desoto, missouri, we've got two or three different kind of stations, different names, and b.p. is always, 10, 15, 20 cents higher. so they're not going to pay for nothing. it's going to be us paying for it. i don't go to b.p., so i'm not going to pay for it. i'd also like to know what kind of profits has b.p. been putting up on record? thank you very much. host: steven, thanks for the call from missouri this morning. want to point you to the lead editorial in the "new york times" today, criminality in the gulf spill. the editorial notes that this is not the first financial peoplity the british oil giant has paid for its careless and destructive
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, nor will it be the last. it notes -- we'll go to lorainne now in webford, michigan on the republican line. lorainne, thanks for calling. caller: yes, i think they should do a lot more and they shouldn't let them off the hook. host: lorainne, what do you think the penalty should be? $4.5 billion not enough?
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caller: nope, like $600 billion. that's what they should pay. host: lorainne from michigan, thanks for the call. some stats about b.p. and the work force. the company employs about 23,000 people, 30% of its work force in the united states, which is home to 40% of its share holders. it also produces 20% of its oil and gas in the country. b.p. remains the largest oil producer in the gulf of mexico and runs a huge oil field in alaska's prudhoe bay. the company is exploring for oil and gas and emerging shale locations in texas, oklahoma, arkansas, louisiana and ohio. it notes they left b.p. in a much leaner condition. the company had to sell assets across the globe to raise money it needs to pay earning --
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garnering $35 billion as of october. we'll be taking your calls on this subject all morning. don is waiting from newport, new york on the independent line. don, thanks for calling. caller: good morning. i was watching another program recently and they said how b.p. made, you know, recorded $1.7, $1.4 billion for the quarter and this exceeded some of the fines they were paying in criminal court for the quarter. but you know, just a quarter? so i think the four billion dollars they pay is pretty much chump change to b.p. and they also have, b.p. has a big deal going with russia right now too, start drilling in antarctica. i think they need to put a stop
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to that, or at least some regulation and more control on it. and that's my comment. host: don, thanks for the call from new york this morning. here's a chart from the "new york times," talking about the money b.p. has set aside and spent to date to cover the fall out from the 2010 spill. b.p. has set aside about $42 billion to cover cover costs related to the accident. spent about $36.3 billion to date, that includes the $4.5 billion of fines and penalties levied by the government as part of thursday's settlement. about $7.8 billion proposed settlement with other claimments, $9 billion paid out to resolve claims by individuals, businesses and government enities, and $14 billion in operational response and clean up cost.
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we'll go to dean from grantsburg, wisconsin on the democratic line. dean, thanks for the call. caller: hi. host: go ahead. caller: thanks for taking my call. i just want to say if your guy's program wasn't so good we wouldn't be able to ask such good questions. for instance, i watch your book tv, and there's a guy on there called david cray johnson. and he mentioned about the financial debacle, and that nobody's been convicted of a crime of that yet, and the statute of limitations is going to run out. so i would hope the journalists might just accept my proposition that it's like a pipe broke in the ocean and all this black stuff spewed out. it's kind of easy for people to understand, like if your hot water heater breaks and floods your basement, you try to sue somebody. but these financial instruments, even the fat cats couldn't understand how they worked, you know. so i would just hope to bring
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back a little perspective on that before it's too late. that's all i guess. but thanks for taking my call. i love your program and i wish i could get c spap 3 though. host: thanks for your call. i want to show video of attorney general eric holder talking about this announcement yesterday. >> today in the united states district court here in the eastern district of louisiana in new orleans, the department filed a 14-count information, charging b.p. with 11 counts of felony manslaughter. one count of felony obstruction of justice. and violation of the clean water and water act in connection to the deepwater horizon oil spill that began in april of 2010. b.p. has agreed to plead guilty to all 14 criminal charges, including responsibility for the deaths of 11 people and the
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events that led to an unprecedented environmental catastrophe. the company has also agreed to pay $4 billion in fines and in penalties. this marks both the largest single criminal fine, more than $1.25 billion, and the largest total criminal resolution, $4 billion, in the history of the united states. host: that was attorney general eric holder at the announcement yesterday about the fines. here is a map from the papers, this one appearing in the tribune newspapers in the "baltimore sun" today of where the oil spill and the parts of the coast that were affected. you can see the map there. the well spewed oil into the gulf of mexico for 87 days before the leak was provisionally capped in july 2010. the well was permanently sealed
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in late august 2010. and also, a break down of what b.p. will actually pay with that money, what it will go for. criminal fines make up about $1.3 billion of it. about $350 million will go to create an endowment at the national academy of sciences. let's go down now to john in louisiana, is it outen, louisiana john? caller: it's up the northwest corner of the state. host: john, what's your reaction to the fine announcement? caller: well, i'm skeptical as i'm 70 years old, i've seen a lot of the federal government in my life. any time that amount of money gets dumped into the federal
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government, one must ask who in the bureaucracy is going to decide where that money goes to. i've been reading a lot of stuff about environmental cleanup, this, that and the other. but millions of lives were altered by the loss of income through a lot of reasons, even people that worked in the oil industry. i'm skeptical that those people, in other words the people who have their pocketbooks have been affected, are necessarily going to see any of that money, or at least anywhere near what they lost. and instead it becomes, and to use kind of a slush fund for all kinds of other things that are not necessarily related. i was just reading some of the various, some of the grants that have been given already. those were not the people that were affected on the gulf coast, the fishermen. the people in the oil business,
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the business of entertainment, the seasonal things that work on the gulf coast, those people are the ones that i guess are on the point of the spear and i'm just skeptical that what they deserve to receive, they will actually receive just because of the bureaucracy of the federal government and how money gets sucked out of it just to administer the program. host: john, thanks for the call from louisiana this morning. as we noted at the top of the segment, former c.i.a. director david patraeus will be testifying behind closed doors today in the senate elect's intelligence committee. for more on that, we want to turn to warren strobal from routers. mr. strobal, thanks for coming on. what are members of congress looking to hear from david
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petraeus today? >> well, they have a lot of questions. they want to know what the c.i.a. did to try to move its forces to help field the attack and protect the consulate. and even more than that, they want to know what the c.i.a. told the administration about the causes of the attack and why the explanation seemed to shift from an attack that was, grew out of the protest over the anti-muslim film throughout the middle east, to the explanation later that it was a terrorist attack. host: gives an update on the efforts to track down those involved in the attack. >> if you recall shortly after the attack, president obama said he would spare no effort to track down those who were involved in this attack, but so far there have been a handful of suspected militants who have been arrested in turkey and elsewhere, but the problem, the problem from the beginning with
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this attack is that it appears to have been conducted by a sort of motley crew or milange of militant groups and ties between these groups that are really difficult to determine. as far as we know, final responsibility has not been placed and we haven't seen any military action yet by the u.s. government. host: and is this hearing today going to be all about ben gauzey or are there members who will be asking questions about the circumstances surrounding david petraeus leaving the c.i.a.? >> you know, that's a really good question. i don't think we know the answer yet. but my sense is that it will be about 98%, but several law makers said yesterday that they would like to at least ask patraeus about his personal problems to the extent they want to make sure he did not resign because of that matter, he did not resign he was trying to avoid testifying to congress,
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and he did not resign for any other reason except this affair. host: and the washington post today quotes former deputy secretary of defense paul wolfowitz who's now with the american enterprise institute. wolfowitz writing for a.e.i. said forget the gossip, focus on bengood afternoon -- benghazi. warren strobal of routers, the general, the former c.i.a. director gave his first statements yesterday since stepping down. what did we learn? >> just to clarify, the statements became public yesterday but apparently it was some sort of email communication or perhaps phone calls that occurred over the last weeks with kyra phillips of h.l.n. network in which he basically said two important things. one was that no classified
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information was breeched or revealed in this affair. and the other was that his he's nation was because of the affair, not because of benghazi. the real question is was there a security breach of any kind because of the affair between petraeus and miss broadwell. attorney general holder at the same press conference where he was discussing b.p. said he didn't see anything. and the classified information on her computer was old and predated petraeus's time at the c.i.a. host: and before we let you go, give us a sense of where this investigation goes from here. we're seeing headlines this
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morning about hillary clinton to testify before congress about the attacks. where does that go? >> yeah, it's going to be -- it's a special board, i think legally mandated in cases like the u.s. consulate. that board is doing its work. it should finish up sometime later this fall. so, i don't know if all or most of that report that be made public. but secretary clinton has indicated she will testify, hopefully in public, and we'll learn a lot more. host: warren strobal, thank you so much for joining us. and we're taking your calls in this first segment of the "washington journal," on your reaction to the b.p. settlement that was announced with the justice department fines of over $4.5 million announced yesterday by the justice department. want to show you the reaction
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from b.p.'s group chief executive bob did dudley. he released a statement saying -- host: we'll go now to prudence in ogden, utah on the democratic line to get her thoughts on this announcement. prudence, go ahead. caller: well, i was just wondering will this money ever be realized? because, when the exxon had the
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big deal in alaska, and i don't know, i don't recall if they stood there and said yes they didn't, how they said they didn't i don't know, but the last time i checked it out i don't think any of that money ever came out of there. the courts in different places kept saying this is ok and that's ok. and the other thing is ok. will b.p. ever actually have to give this money to the people and the places that it damaged? is there anyway we will be able to follow that? thank you. host: prudence, thanks for the call this morning. there was information in the b.p. announcement about monitors being appointed for future environmental issues that b.p. will have to deal with. we'll get into some of those stories as well this morning. but also want to note not to be
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lost in the news of the fine, the federal government charged three more people over the deep water horizon accident. this from environment and energy news. the justice department charged three workers involved in the deepwater horizon with various criminal violations. dd
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go down to amarillo, texas, merlin is waiting on the independent line. you're on the "washington journal." caller: i was just wondering how much b.p. has actually made cleaning up the spill? host: not a stat i have for you right now, merlin. i can tell you b.p. was reporting profits in the fourth quarter of 2010 after the spill occurred. profits of about $5.5 billion. the spill occurred in the summer of that year. this according to b.p.'s website. in the third quarter of 2010, b.p.'s profits were about $5 billion. in the fourth quarter of 2011, $7.6 billion in profits. caller: does anybody think that
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they might have did it on purpose? host: why would you think that, merlin? caller: well, because i heard that the night right before the spill they pulled out their stocks in a lot of, you know, some of the money that they had out there, they pulled out -- host: where are you hearing that from? caller: well, i just heard it from this guy. i don't know if it was real or not. host: we'll go to john from district heights, maryland on the democratic line. john, thanks for calling. caller: good morning. host: go ahead. caller: listen, i was glad to hear about those guys who have been indicted. but how far the chain they really are. look at the money it will cost them to defend themselves against those who are higher up who need to be held accountable. people at the bottom like that don't make the kind of decisions on an operation that big with a
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corporation making billions and billions of dollars like that. host: the justice department announced yesterday they had criminal charges against former senior v.p. executive. does that make you happy at least to see someone that high up, the former seen yr executive has been charged? caller: well, he might be a colonel, but you got generals, too. you get your point? host: who else needs to be gone after? caller: something huge like that, it don't just start with this gentleman here. another point is this, no natter what the fine is, this is going to be passed onto the consumer. so it's just a revolving door here. it sounds good, it sounds impressive, but you better believe b.p. never get off any money, spending the next 10 or 15 years, maybe shorter than that, that money will be paid back by the consumers some kind of way. that's number two. number three, with that libyan
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thing, just very quickly, what we see is blowback from the years of bush administration policies, renditioning those attacks by our c.i.a. people, assassinating leaders over there. this is just the beginning, and what you listen to the congress and mccain and those guys like that, they're leading the american people away from the truth of what we have done over there to those people with attack on iraq and what's going on in pakistan with the drones. what's going on in afghanistan. host: all right, john. we'll go to a few comments from twitter on the b.p. spill. and one other tweet --
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want to show you a bit of a news conference that two democrats on the energy and commerce committee, who looked in to the b.p. oil spill held a press conference yesterday. we'll show you a bit of that now. >> the portion of today's settlement directing significant funding for preservation and conservation of natural resources, along the gulf coast, is a significant step forward in repairing the unprecedented environmental harm caused by the b.p. spill. revenue from future civil penalties will go to the gulf states directly. but dedicating these criminal penalties to conservation efforts by the nonprofit fish and wildlife foundation, and scientific research conducted by the national academy of sciences is a critical step in healing our gulf coast.
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host: again, we're taking your calls on this all morning in our first segment of "washington journal." mark from irving, texas is next on the democratic line. and mark, are you there? caller: yeah, i'm here. host: mark, you worked with the national ocean association? caller: yeah, yeah. host: go ahead mark. caller: yeah, i was a captain for noaa, i was right there, i went and did surveys every eight days. we would go out, they would give the g.p.s. reading. host: mark, turn down your tv and just keep talking to me there. cope and then we would drag, make a 30 minute drag to pull up the product and see what we had. and the oil spill was actually,
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it fell and was mostly the gulf of mexico offshore and we saw the reopened bottom of mississippi. we saw the reopen bottom off louisiana. and b.p. set up a house in all these places and they started getting big settlements. i mean $90,000, $70,000, $70,000 -- and the year before that, right after the oil spill -- i think the money should go to the people that died. i feel sorry for that. but i think also b.p.'s paid a lot, a lot of money for an accident.
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caller: yes, good morning, you have a great show. i'm a professor and expert on
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oil, and the observation of b.p. paying $4.5 billion is one week, that's one week of revenue. we have 20,000 rigs in canada. we don't have these explosions. and the situation, this is equivilent after the blow up in texas oil refinery, level with this. this is equivilent of a drunk driver whose third conviction, kills 10 people and is charged $2.50 fine. the fine for this should be at least, at least $40 billion. that's number one, number two -- host: do you think the fines will get up that far in the civil case? caller: we're in the oil business. b.p. is the largest producer of
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u.s. oil. they're a $200 billion company. you're talking about a company that has revenues five times that of apple worldwide. the largest producer of oil in the united states. i tell you this, we have 20,000 rigs in canada. we don't have explosions. they've had explosions in brazil, it killed 15 in texas. they save money. and then when oil was $65 a barrel, $100 a barrel buzz the gulf was closed off, so it was profitable. they should bar b.p. from doing business in the united states because it's a third strike! listen to me. 15 people died in texas explosion! they received a $14 million fine. they saved $2 billion in safety. the company is profitable, you
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get it? host: michael from new york, new york. few other headlines to keep you appraised of continuing. look at the 2012 elections and those races that still have not been called from last week. this from roll call. democratic omni barry has officially prevailed over lungren. the race was called on thursday, more than a week after the election with bera leading. there are four outstanding house races that are in california's 52n't district. florida's 15th district, arizona's2nd district. the fifth race is louisiana's third district between two republican members that will be decided in a september runoff. democrats lead in all races where the winner is still uncalled.
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if they prevail, the thousands this cycle will be eight seats. one of those races that was referenced in that report is congressman alan west race in florida in that 18th district there. this from the "washington times" today. state and national republican party officials are getting behind the call for the recount in all early votes in st. lucy count you florida. we're staying with this story on the b.p. spill fines that were announced yesterday. we'll go to bethlehem, pennsylvania on the democratic line. dell is waiting. thanks for the call. caller: thank you. professor kind of stole a lot of
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the things i was going to say, because most people don't know the perspective here. you know, one time british patroleum was owned by the british government and it took care of the whole empire people. and of course, as everything else that's attractive, greedy people have to get in there and get their hands in there. it's happening all around the united states at this time, they're taking over the highways, the harbors, you name it, the tunnels, the toll roads, everything else. and this is the evils of capitalism. they want to make that money. it doesn't matter if death is involved. they're not following regulations, they didn't install proper equipment that essential. this is what happens, they take shortcuts because of the mighty dollar, you know. there's nothing you can do about it because like one of the other callers says we're going to tack onto the price. once you late the jeany out of the bottle, it's too late.
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no way this cut can be renationalized because it's worldwide. it should have never been left -- you can thank ronald reagan and margaret thatcher for doing it. host: this morning, jodie writes in on twitter, the b.p. disaster was made by bip it. there were safety regulars that were ignored. they know what they were doing before it blew up. we'll go to chad now from farmington, new mexico on the republican line. chad, thanks for calling. caller: yeah, thanks for having me. love what you guys have going on. sorry to say but i am a republican. i just had a question, since they already gave you the projected numbers for what they plan on spending everything on, does that show that they just don't plan on giving anybody, any people that were actually affected any money at all? host: what do you mean by that? caller: like, since they already gave the projected numbers of
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how much money they're spending on each individual group that they gave money to, do they plan on those groups giving the money to the people that actually were affected by it? host: i'll point you back to the "new york times" graphic on this. b.p. has set aside $42 billion to cover the cost related to the spill. and that includes the money spent to date is about $36.3 billion. so that money set aside, they've spent about $36.3, this $4.5 billion in fines is included in that. they paid $9 billion out to resolve claims by individuals, and government enityities. they still have an additional -- they have also paid $14 billion in operational cost in response of a cleanup. so they've set aside $42 billion pay out about $46.3 to date.
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does that answer your question, chad? caller: yes, sir, partly. could you also tell me the name of any single person that actually received money for any of this stuff? or was it just like they got money from getting food stamps or a voucher to live somewhere for a minute? host: i can't do that for you chad, but i'm sure you can look that up. maria on the democratic line, thanks for calling. caller: hi, good morning. what i'm trying to say is i agree with that caller from pennsylvania and new york, ok? you let the genie out of the bottle and that's what happens. what i don't understand is why so many of these gulf or red states are in an outrage. we're talking about the environment, they got to drink that water. like i say, they ain't paying enough money for what they've done.
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but they want these pipelines in the gulf, they want these pipelines. you don't see no congressmen raising. they should be out there fighting for the people that have got injured or died from this incident. caller from florida who said barack obama just wants this to happen. well barack obama has been trying to get away from this all. he tried to mix oil with newer and cleaner energy. and when we have an oil spill of this magnitude that affects the drinking water, everybody in the gulf ought to be outraged. thank you. host: a few other headlines to run for you in the first segment of the "washington journal" before we turn to a discussion in our next segment on the fiscal cliff. this from a tribune newspaper report, obama named hud secretary lead sandy recovery
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efforts. housing and urban secretary has been chosen to lead the federal government's assistance. the state's rebuilding from superstorm sandy, president obama announced thursday after touring the hardest hit parts of new york. we thought it would be good to have a new yorker who's going to be the point person obama said on staten island which he toured with donovan and state law makers. the other story i want to point to this morning is the ongoing confrontation between israel and hamas. the headline from the "new york times" on the front page, israel and hamas step up air attacks in the gaza clash.
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israel and hamas brushed aside international calls for restraint on thursday and executed their lethal conflict over gaza where palestinian militants launched hundreds of rockets into israel territory targeting tell aviv for the first time. and israel intensifies and sent tanks for a possible invader. a story from early this morning notes that egypt opens a tiny window of truce in the gaza confrontation. the prime minister arrived in gaza strip on friday officially to show solidarity with the palestinian people after two days of relentless attacks by israeli war planes determined to end the militant rocket fire at israel. israel said it would cease-fire during the visit if hamas did too, but rockets fired from gaza hit several sites in israel and they responded with an attack on the house of hamas's -- that's
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it for this first segment of the "washington journal." up next, we'll have senator ron johnson, a republican of wisconsin, a member of both the budget and appropriation committees to join us to give his view on the fiscal cliff. and later, congressman keith ellison, a democratic from minnesota, will continue our discussion on the fiscal cliff. we'll be right back. >> truman was vice president for literally 82 days. and being truman, he actually presided over the senate. these days the vice president doesn't bother with that unless his vote is needed to break a tie. he said that's my job. truman never learned anything
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from f.d.r. or from his staff, it was a transition with zero knowledge. that doesn't happen any more. got a phone call from the white house, get to the phone right away, so he picked up the phone and at the other end they said get to the white house as soon as you can. so he grabbed his hat and dashed out. and he had a car, of course, they gave him a shaufer when he -- they gave him a shawer if when he became vice president. he was taken up stairs, was met by eleanor roosevelt and he looked up, and she said harry the president is dead. and he was in total shock. and he said, what can i do for you? and she said, harry, what can we do for you? you're in trouble now. >> from his early life through
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his presidency, a look at the life of harry truman in "citizen soldier" sunday night at 8:00. >> for the last nearly half century the discussion of the assassination has been dominated by two schools of thought. or if you will, two faiths. and i'm going to very briefly describe each of them and how they approach the evidence in the case. to begin with, there's the church of the loan assassin whose insist that both oswalt and ruby were essentially loan nuts who murdered john kennedy and lee harvey oswald for their own reason. now on the other side we have the church of the grand conspiracy. and they are frequently rather vague about what exactly did happen and who was responsible, but they're absolutely convinced that there was a very large conspiracy, usually involving figures within the u.s. government, and a massive
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cover-up. >> this weekend on american history tv, 49 years later, the questions remain. loan gunman, the mob, c.i.a., castro, the military industrial complex? what happened in dallas? the assassination of john f. kennedy, sunday. >> "washington journal" continues. host: and as law makers return to the lame discussion legislative session, congress and the white house are beginning negotiations today on how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff to discuss this issue. we're joined by wisconsin republican senator ron johnson. senator johnson, we've now heard president obama repeatedly insist that any deal that's reached has to include higher taxes on the wealthiest americans. is that something you see republicans being able to agree to? guest: i think republicans are all about increasing revenue of the federal combovement.
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but our concept is let's increase revenue the old fashioned way by growing our economy because it's far more effective. if we increase marginal tax rates on higher income individuals, you really are beginning to tax smaller, medium sized businesses. i had one of those businesses for 31 years. i understand how it is. if you your marginal tack rates are 40%, which is kind of where it is today. you've got 60 cents of every dollar available to reinvest in the business. if you increase that to 50%, now you've only got 60 cents. or over a hundred dollars, you've got additional $10. that i think makes a huge difference in the amount of money businesses have to grow the economy, to create jobs. and so, increasing marginal tax rates is a process. what you want to do is to want
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them to grow. host: is it a hard line for you? here's a headline with the front page republican governors go soft on taxes. some republican governors are softening on the party's hard line towards tax increases for the wealthy, suggesting that g.o.p. congressmen at least be open to rate hikes in exchange for a comprehensive fiscal agreement. the people have spoken, i think we're going to have to be flexible now, said virginia governor bob macdonnell, when asked if his party would have to be open to taxes on the high easterners. elections do have consequences, the president campaigned on that. guest: well, most of those members who campaigned are not increasing taxes on any american. because, again -- i don't want to increase taxes, not because i signed a pledge, but because increasing taxes harms economic growth. one of the charts i've prepared here to show you is really how
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you really can't rely on government estimates. during the last four years of the bush administration, total revenue of the federal government was $9.7 trillion. now the government estimated that it would be $12 frl. in fact, revenue was only $9 trillion. they've missed their estimate by 33%. $3 trillion. the way you grow revenue in the federal government is by growing your economy. part of the problem we have right now is revenue into the federal government is only 15.7%, even though a fifth year average revenue is 18.1%. and this is an interesting graph right here, because for the last 50 years, the 50 years prior to this administration, average revenue of the federal government was 18.1% of our economy. host: that's the green line here? guest: that's the green line.
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what's interesting is the pink black showed the top tax rate. i also like to point out for a brief moment in time we were actually 72% free, a direct correlation. then back up to 39%, right now at 35%. but take a look at that difference in tax rate, the tax rate that punished the success. it didn't work. all you were able to extract from american economy was 18.1%. so the smart thing to do is lower marginal tax rates. i'm happy to broaden the base, republicans are happy to look at things that are very non-economic in nature. lower that, makes businesses want to contribute and pay for
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401 k, health care. you have to go to the private sector, not the government. host: president obama talks that he wants $2.5 trillion of cuts for dollar indecreased is there any ratio that you would agree to? guest: first of all, what would he ever agree to on cutting. the increase in taxes according to president obama right now, by taxing the wealthy. you know, if you just allow the tax rates to go up to clinton era tax rates in the top two brackets, that would only raise $34 billion. last year we experienced a $1,090 billion deficit. you might get up to $80 billion. again, $80 billion versus that. so that's the revenue he wants to raise. that's what he hoodwinked the american people into believing that that's going to soft the debt issue.
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it doesn't even close the deficit by 8%. where the spending cuts? he talks about one dollar for three, one dollar for two and a half. i have yet to see a proposal out of this administration, or democrats in the senate who haven't passed a budget in three and a half years. so listen, i think republicans are willing to compromise for democrats. but but need to see their plan. i've never seen their plan. the only thing we've seen out of this president, out of democrats, is let's increase taxes, punish success. the most that will generate revenue $80 billion a year, talking about $1,090 billion deficit. where are the spending cut proposals? i haven't seen them. host: we're taking your calls in this segment with ron johnson, senator from wisconsin, a member of the appropriationses and budget committees. the numbers are there on the screen for you to go ahead and start calling in. senator johnson, president obama said the two sides agree right now that the bush era tax cuts
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should be extended for middle class americans and that he would sign a bill to do that right away if congress sent it to him. do you think that's something that could happen separate from these discussions about taxing on the wealthiest americans? guest: here's the problem. supposedly our only bargaining chip is -- once we do that, what leverage do we have to actually work with the president to lower spending? that's been the sucker punch that republicans have been walking into for decades, where you always get the tax increases, you never get the spending reduction. so certainly before i'm going to look at any kind of tax proposal, i wapt to see the other side of the equation. i mean where are the spending reduckses, where's the structural reform. this president admits need to be solved, need to be saved. but in the four budgets he's put forward, he has yet to propose
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any solution. let's face it his last two budgets have been voted on twice now in congress, twice in the senate, once in the house. final vote tally is 0-610. i would submit the compromise first needs to occur on the democrats side, where the democrats in the senate put forward a budget. the president put forward a plan that at least some democrats support as well. once they show a plan to republicans, then we have something to work with. host: again, we're taking your calls in the segment. up first, paul from indiana on the republican line. paul, you're on with senator johnson. caller: senator johnson. i appreciate your stance and what you guys are doing. i'm encouraging you to not buckle. because i'm telling you, according to a "wall street journal" article i've read, the governor has taken trillion dollars in revenue, that's actually up under the bush tax
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cut. so the one he wants to end are bringing in more revenues. as far governors toughening their stance on this issue, we would like to -- we just re-elected mike pence as our governor. i don't know how he'll handle this exchange business coming up with the health care thing. i'm encouraging, please don't buckle. it's not the republican's d.n.a. to raise taxes on anybody. work for the empowering, for the individual, not the governmentened and tomko burn, he came out with $68 million waistful spending by the defense department. i think you cut out wasteless spending you won't need to raise taxes on anybody. guest: let's just look at the revenue over the last three years. we won't from a very low point in 2009 and we've increased revenue on an annual basis. there's been no tax rate increases.
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that's because the economy has grown at a very meager level. we increased by $344 billion. if we go from that 15.7% of revenue back up to that 50-year average of 18.1%, $373 billion per year just by growing the economy at a normal level. just an average economy. where again all this president's looking at is punishing success to bring in maybe 34, to at most $80 billion a year. what's going to work? the problem is that john is by increasing those marginal tax rates on small businesses. you're going to risk the economic growth that has increased rev nigh by closer to $400 million a year. that's why i'm not far increases in marginal tax rates. it will harm economic growth. and the number one component of any solution, whether it's our deficit problem, whether getting people back to work, helping middle class and middle income individuals build a good life
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themselves and their family. punishing success, increasing marginal tax rates aren't objectives of growth. host: betty, good morning to you, your on with senator johnson. caller: good morning c-span. senator johnson, your talking points, and i appreciate that, because that's what you have to do. now, president obama set forth jobs bill, didn't pass it. you blocked everything he wanted to do. and with this don't raise taxes, now if people don't buy, what's going to happen? guest: good morning betty, and thanks for that question. first of all the president with president obama's jobs plan was the same problem with the stimulus. we borrowed $800 billion from our children and grandchildren. we have incurred $5.1 trillion
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in additional deficits. of course we've ballooned our debt by close to $600 billion. . from 1970 to the year 1999, the average interest rate that the federal government paid on its debt was 5.3%. because we have tried to accommodate this spending, the federal reserve has been keeping interest rates at 1.5%. if we revert to that average interest rate which is what is happening in spain, italy, and greece, if we just reverted to that 5.3%, the differential on $16 trillion worth of debt, $600 billion to our annual interest expense. it is more than we spent on
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medicare. it is almost what we spend on social security. that is a debt crisis and a political crisis. the problem with the jobs plan, it is deficit spending. host: a question from a maverick on twitter -- guest: first of all, i think we need to defense the audit the defense department. exxon and mobil and wal-mart, $450 billion. we need to know where the money is being spent. tom coburn has been a great job finding waste and abuse throughout the federal government. we are asking the defense department to do all kinds of things.
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you can find areas to save money. i don't particularly like defense sequestration because that is taking an ax to the defense budget. i think you need to take a skeletal. its debt with auditing the defense department's. then really taking a look at what of the security threats and trying to tailor our military to meet those threats. host: this discussion is going to be under way today at about 10:15 when the presidenwhere thd the vice president are going to be in attendance with congressional leaders to talk about the economy and deficit- reduction. you have been described as a champion of the tea party. what is the role of the tea party in these negotiations? guest: i sprang on the tea
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party. i am certainly no leader. i gave speeches because i identify with their mission which is limited constitutional government, and emphasis on individual liberty and freedom, and recognizing the federal government does not need more money. it needs to reduce itself, limit itself, stop spending so much money and borrowing so much money. from my standpoint, by any manufacturer. what is the cause of the problem? we produced material for medical devices. i am pretty familiar with the medical provider industry and how that affects health care. the fact of the matter is the root cause of our problem is the size and scope, all the rules and regulations, the government intrusion.
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that is what we need to attack. host: is the voice of the tea party being heard in the senate leadership? you came close to getting the number 5 spot but you did not challenge the senator this year. guest: take a look at our new members. i think the core group in the senate has moved more to the right. host: ken is next from florida on the independent line. caller: thank you. good morning, gentlemen. if i may, i have heard your mantra on tv punishing success. a recent report by a nonpartisan bureaucracy
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indicated that for the last 30 or 40 years, thsi mantra that if we only give more tax breaks to the very wealthy, they will create jobs. that report indicated that is fallacious and not the case. mitch mcconnell and your republican colleagues in the senate had that report quashed. also if i may, during the bush administration, trillions of dollars were borrowed from china for wars that were off the budget that were never indicated that we were having deficit spending. we were borrowing from china. host: i will give you a chance to respond to that. guest: it is not rocket science in terms of what you need to do
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to grow an economy. we do not have the option of choosing whether we have to compete. you have to benchmark what your tax environment, your regulatory environment, your energy costs. the good news is in terms of getting manufacturing, we're still the world's largest market. when global investors take a look at the u.s., and canada's rate is 15% and hours is 35%, where are you going to site your plant? $1.75 trillion a year, a number that is larger than all but 80 economies in the world. it is not particularly attractive. when this administration refuses to utilize our domestic energy
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resources, refuses the keystone pipeline which would bring jobs and energy down to america, they reject that. that is not attractive in terms of global investment and job creation. the caller also talked about what caused the deficit then been a lot of charts and graphs dispel some myths. over four years, the total deficit was 5000 $92 billion. the taxes on the wealthy over that same time was $136 billion. all other americans was $544 billion. total cost of the bush tax cuts and the wars was about $1.30 trillion which means 75% of the
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deficit was caused by other spending. the wars and the tax cuts certainly contributed, but 75% was caused by other spending. the wars are ramping down and we are going to be taking a look at what we can do with revenue. it is far more efficient to grow the economy. you get hundreds of billions of dollars in additional revenue versus trying to increase tax rates on small businesses. host: what is your biggest accomplishment since entering the senate? guest: i like to think delving into the details of the federal budget, breaking it out into a more simplistic explanation. i travel around wisconsin and in doing these presentations or adjust lay out the facts.
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people come up to me afterwards thanking me for giving them the information they did not understand them bett. we are in a trajectory in this country if we do not start reforming medicare and social security. the federal government will be consuming 35% of our economy by the year 2035. those are the economic models that do not work. host: let's go to massachusetts on the republican line. caller: good morning. i would like to think myself as a conservative republican. i am willing to go for part of the $2,000 increase if necessary to balance the budget. i cannot believe the candidates would take that 10 to 1
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category. we have to balance the budget. since we are only at the 18% tax category, normally it can go up to 20%. you have to cut spending and lower the corporate tax. thank you. host: we will show you some stats about the average tax increases if the fiscal cliff were reached, this provided by the tax policy center. guest: we need time to do pro- gross tax rate reform so we can get revenue the old fashioned way and grow our economy. if we see $10 in spending cuts in reforming and saving social security and medicare, if we see
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that on the table i think most republicans here in washington would leap at that deal. host: you would be part of that? guest: we have to see spending cuts and the have to be structural and certain. part of the problem is people say we are going to cut spending. i will gladly pay you tuesday. we will take the revenue increases down and then do the spending cuts in the future. we need to understand we do structural reform said the savings are locked in. george fromgo to louisville, colorado, on the democratic line. thank you for calling. caller: good morning. i was wondering a couple of things. the other day i did a little bit of math.
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mitt romney makes $20 million a year without having a day job. if that was the average working person in america who whould work 50 weeks a year in a 40- hour week, that would be 2000 hours. i did a little bit of division and figured out mitt romney makes about $10,000 an hour. i think he could probably afford to pay a little more. secondly, i am glad you are a tea party nominee. i can bet you have lost two elections. now, keep it up. guest: what you need to do is you need to incentivize people to put their capital at risk. it is very easy to say they can afford to pay it.
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i want to go back to the basic fact that if you are running a business and out of $100 of income, if i am able to keep $60 of that versus $50, i will be able to reinvest that. very few business are taking money out. they are reinvesting in it and increase in wages and paying for health care. when you reduce at the margins the ability to reinvest, you are going to harm economic growth. it is a sad part in our history where we have come to the point where we are not celebrating success. we are appealing to the base and v of individuals. i know people -- we do not seem to beat up on sports stars and rock stars and movie stars. it is what the marketplace fairs.
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people are successful and people pay taxes. one of the reasons people pay a lower marginal tax rate is because they invest in tax-free municipal bonds. your local property tax is going to go up if your community is not going to borrow at a lower interest rate because of their tax the vantage. all of these things are connected. there are reasons that we create lower tax rates because we want to incentivize people to invest capital, put their money at risk for businesses to grow and create jobs. if we just caved in to the taxing the rich, it just does not work. host: when you ran in 2010, you
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said one of your top priorities was repealing the health care law. is that a realistic possibility? guest: unfortunately not and that is a real problem. we are simply not going to be able to pay for it. when we first pass the health care law, they only accounted for years of full spending and to use of partial spending. it is basically a marketing ploy. i think the american people are rejecting this one anyway. when the law fully kicks in, the 10-year spending will be $2.40 trillion, paid for by what? it is going to be about $1.50 trillion in taxes and penalties. those are taxes on health plans, providers, hospitals.
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they are hidden and indirect. those are taxes on middle income americans. where is the other trillion going to come from? reductions in medicare. the $2.40 trillion is a gross underestimation because in that projection -- i have just moved in three years ford. adding three years on to their projections. they estimate only 1 million people would lose their employer-sponsored care. the fact of the matter is tens of millions of people will. obamacare will cost three, four, or $5 trillion over a 10-year period. you want a summary on what is wrong with obamacare?
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it dramatically increases the demand for health care. 30 million more americans accessing medicare and medicaid while at the same time reducing the supply by taking $716 billion under medicare, not having providers take on new patient. host: we will talk about the near term with the health care law. scott walker has not said what he is going to do. what do you think he should do? guest: more and more republican governors are taking a look at the facts that if they set up a stake in exchange, the federal government is going to set it up anyway. it should be run by the state's. he is recognizing the fact that
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the federal government is going to provide all the rules. he will not have the funding. i am hoping he does not set up a state exchange. by the way, the way the health care law was written, subsidies should not be paid through -- there is no provision to allow subsidies and credits to be paid through exchanges. the irs has ruled contrary to that. host: cleveland, ohio, on the independent line. caller: good morning, gentlemen. i just want to make a quick point. led the american people understand the decisions you made. this is a situation here that i see as making a decision to sign a pledge for not raising taxes. as a lawmaker, there are many
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quick decisions you have to make and you never know what is going to happen. you made a point with your chart as far as how the war increased the deficit. as a lawmaker, you never know at any time what decisions you have to come and make and try to help this country. why would the very first thing you do would be to sign a pledge to not raise taxes? from a person who is not even a politician? can you explain that to the american people? guest: as i was running, i signed the pledge. i am not opposed to increasing taxes because i signed the pledge. i think it harms economic growth. i made that pledge and i ran on
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it. then i was elected a. would citizens of wisconsin rather have me break my promise? we have hundreds of lawmakers here that signed the same pledge promising the people who voted for them that they will not increase people's taxes because we believe the federal government gets a large enough share of the economy. we are going to work to limit government's influence on our lives paying we did it in the light of day. voters knew we would send that pledge and then they voted for us and sent us to office. i am trying to lay out the facts that increasing taxes does not even begin to solve the problem. the most that the president obama's proposal would raise in nearly is $80 billion. we are facing over $1,000
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billion a year deficit. i think it is really up to this president and democrats in the senate to start showing the american people how they are going to solve problems because increasing taxes, punishing success, does not even begin to solve the problem. it put at risk the economic growth. host: try to get in a couple more calls. from kentucky on the republican line, go ahead. caller: it is good to speak with you this morning. i have had the good fortune to be able to travel across this country. been in practically every major city except seattle and boston. i come from a very poor, humble
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background and in a poor section of a poor state. i have become very successful. my grandparents and my dad, they were staunch democrat. but their philosophy was it you do not work, you do not eat. their philosophy was they detested handouts. they were proud people. this is no longer the democratic party that our parents and grandparents respected and believed in. we have an appalingly ignorant populace across this country that cannot understand simple math. you know, i can follow it. but the vast majority do not follow the math. it is too complicated for them.
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if there was some way you could break it down fairly simple, we are spending $10 billion a day to operate our governmetn spending. guest: all of my charts and graphs are on my senate web page. that is exactly what we're trying to do. we are trying to lay this out in simple terms as possible to show the american people that punishing success does not work. let somebody else pay the price. but the fact is it will not work. information is powerful. you have to understand what works and does not work. what the president needs to do is show the american public how he is going to close a trillion
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dollar a year deficit. he is not going to do it by closing eight% of that gap by punishing success. host: you have received some heat from some comments you made about the electorate. here is the headline from "the huffington post." guest: i never used that word. host: here is the quote they were referring to. guest: when you are saying just make the rich pay their fair share and everything is going to be fixed, it is not going to be
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fixed. you increase taxes and raise $34 billion a year, at the most $80 billion for dividends and capital gains. it does not solve the problem. then president obama says a balanced approach. we understand where he is going to increase taxes. where is the other 92% of deficit reduction customer basically he sold the american people snake oil. people bought it. they elected this guy. he has passed a health care law which will be a disaster and has been under estimated in terms of its cost and its impact on the health care system. it is going to be dramatically bad. we are in this place right now. president obama has no plan to invent it is his responsibility to lay his plan on the table and to show the american public how
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you are going to get the government to live within its means and balance the budget beyond test taxing the wealthy which at most will raise $80 billion. i am interested in seeing that plan. i have yet to see it. host: thank you so much for joining us. up next, we will have congressman keith ellison. we will continue this discussion on the fiscal cliff negotiations in congress. will be right back. ♪ >> suspend invites middle and high school students to send a message to the president -- c-
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span invites middle and high school students to send a message to the president for a chance to win the grand prize of $5,000. the competition is open to students grades 6 through 12. for complete details, go online. >> vice president for literally 82 days. harry truman presided over the senate then that nowadays, the vice president does not bother with that unless his vote is needed to break a tie. truman never learned anything from fdr or his staff. it was a transition with zero knowledge. that does not happen anymore. he got a phone call from the white house. he picked up the phone and at the other and they said get to
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the white house as soon as you can. he grabbed his hat and dashed out. he had a car of course. they gave him a chauffeur when he became vice president. he went to the white house and was taken upstairs to the second-floor. he was met by eleanor roosevelt. she said the president is dead. he was in total shock. he said what can i do for you? she said, harry, what can we do for you? you are in trouble now. >> the life of harry truman, sunday night at 8:00 on c-span. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we continue our discussion on the looming fiscal cliff with
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democratic congressman keith ellison. as we look at the standoff between the house -- the white house with democrats and senate republicans, what do you see as thisath to fixing problem ahead of us? guest: i think the american people expect the congress will work out a deal for everybody. we feel that a deal can be done but it has to have that basic features. there needs to be a jobs component for how we solve this thing. the more tax revenue, the more we are able to deal with these issues. also, the well-to-do have to check bin. -- have to chip in.
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not just the expiring tax provisions. also we need to close some loopholes. we need to see the military make a greater contribution to cuts. of course, this fiscal tangle should not be resolved on the backs of the most honorable. no benefit cuts to social security, medicare, or medicaid. host: that is a non-negotiable for you? guest: it should not be on the table. if we are going to do some reform, we should do it separately. we should not put the people who really did not cause of this situation, cause them to somehow see a loss of benefits. host: if you want to talk to
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congressman keith ellison, give us a call. the numbers are there for you. congressman, president obama has been adamant about raising taxes on the wealthiest americans. b u agree with his assessment -- do you agree with his assessment? guest: first of all, our well- to-do americans -- we are glad they have been successful. our nation has a problem. we need everybody to step forward. taxes are the dues that you paid to live in a civilized society. they are what we need to do to make sure we have good roads, bridges, defense, and things that the nation needs. i think that just letting the
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tax cuts expire for the top 2% is not all we need to do. there is more we need to do. host: your proposal is wrapped up in what you are calling the deal for all being proposed by the progressive caucus. you have talked about no cuts to medicare, medicaid, and social security. guest: we're open to reform but we should not see beneficiaries receiving a deduction in the services that they receive. for example, we believe that negotiate drug should prices. it would not hurt beneficiaries. we should continue to squeeze out waste, fraud, and abuse. that could be a tremendous benefit to the program and
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reduce costs to medicare. in terms of social security, if anybody wanted to propose something, i think that scrapping of the cap makes a lot of sense. there are reforms that we are open to. we do nothing people depending on social security, medicare, and medicaid should be the ones to resolve this crisis. host: dennis writes on twitter -- guest: if i have anything to do with it, they will. we need to have a cost of living adjustment for beneficiaries. host: let's go to brenda on the democratic line. caller: i just wanted to bring
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up three quick points. i was hoping to get on with the republican senator. i think the broad base of votes are more with our president and the senate. also i wanted to say that his idea -- when i see him on the floor trying to scrap npr -- host: repeat that. guest: the senator was saying that $80 billion was junk change, when i see them on the floor trying to take away $500 million for npr or planned parenthood.
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talking about the republicans that are supposed to be the party of personal responsibility. host: a lot to cover their for you. guest: i think the caller makes a lot of good points. if this election means any thing, it means that americans have voted for fairness. not only did date reelect the president, but they reelected him by a substantial margin. we picked up about seven or eight seats. this election really was won in which the president and democrats won the argument. we won the case that there
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should be balanced, fairness in terms of how we approach our fiscal issues. we have to make sure the vulnerable are not the ones who have to foot the bill for the most fortunate americans. we have to make sure our military budget makes its fair contribution to how we resolve these changes. the reality is, we also need to figure out that we need deficit reduction but we also need things like investment in our nation's infrastructure which has been crumbling and we need to make sure we are training our workforce. we need to make sure we have had start and all these programs to help low income americans have a ladder up to the middle class. slamming the brakes on spending is in mistake and it will cause various job losses.
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we need to get together to have a deal for all that makes sense for everybody. host: ken writes in on twitter -- guest: we definitely agree tha tthe production tax credit needs to be extended. this is very important in my own state of minnesota. a lot of jobs are tied up. that is an important part. energy is a big part of how we put americans back to work. the xl pipeline, the keystone pipeline. i do not think it is the right pipeline, but the infrastructure
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is certainly there. if you look at conservation, making buildings more energy efficient if we look at wind, solar, these are all important areas of growth for people who want to pursue fields in the energy field. host: good morning. caller: i would like to make a comment. i would like to know about barack obama's plan and if it will help the part timers. he has a company down the road that says the part timers barely get insurance because the
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companies do not want to pay a fine. withe going to lose jobs this insurance health care plan. and i not right? you are losing jobs now. guest: i do not think you are correct. there may be a certain case that you are speaking of. the fact is, obamacare is going to help people retain jobs. more people will have health care. they will be able to report in and seek out preventive care. there are provisions within obamacare that if there is price gouging or threats to drop employees because some employers do not want to take the responsibility that other
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employers take, then there are provisions where they can complain to dhs to try to get some relief. -- put those same people on the burden on the taxpayer, that is not fair either. we have to continue to refine obamacare. i am absolutely certain it was the right thing to do. i am glad i was able to see obamacare coming to law. i am glad we will see its full implementation.
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thank you for your call. host: we are talking with keith ellison, a democrat from minnesota and member of the financial services committee. ashley is next from florida on the independenct line. good morning. caller: i have two questions. i would argue that increasing taxes is not a solution. the role of the federal government is very limited. all i have heard from you is things that should be increased. social security benefits, more spending on roads. the problem is when asked questions, they always point to what the other party has not done. lots of callers for this gentleman and the prior gentlemen have mentioned that
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rich people should get taxed more. i don't think someone making $250,000 a year pre-tax is considered rish in this economy. i can understand that you talk about the millionaires' club should be taxed more. to lump someone in a category like ronnie with $20 million a year income, it is not the same in this economy. host: we will get the congressman to respond. guest: i respect the fact that you have a perspective coming from a libertarian point of view. but let me just say taxes are not a punishment. taxes are how we pay for an america that makes sense for everybody been been the fact is, our economy is one of the
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freest, most capitalistic economy is in the world. there are things that we do together because we should then been providing for common defense, roads and bridges and transportation, education. these are things that we should do together. we are not going to have the same perspective. at least i hope we can agree that there is an important role for government in the united states. the government does do important, meaningful things for americans and we are safer with someone looking out for the water, meat, safer so infrastructure is in good repair. i will also say this. i think you are right. republicans, democrats, independents, we have to stop pointing out what the other is not doing. what the deal for all says is we
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need to invest in jobs, energy, and work-force development been been people of all in comes should help a little bit more as a patriotic duty to make sure we can cover the cost of society. we need to make sure the military which has seen its budget double since 2001 and needs to share in whatever cuts that come through. let's not balance our fiscal problems on the backs of the most vulnerable. this is a country which we call the land of opportunity. one of those things that makes a land of opportunity is poor people can have some things in place that can give them a ladder up into the middle class. things like food support, food stamps, headstart. these are tiny parts of the
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budget. my last point. aboutat we are talking trade-offs. if you do not want to ask people making $250 or more who are doing better, if we will not ask people to do more, then are we going to ask people making $12,000 a year to do more? host: do you have a follow-up question? guest: i'd make right now less than $20,000 a year. i do not receive any government assistance. you said you did not get public assistance.
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you don't get certain things that other people get that they need and you do not need. caller: i do have a pre-existing condition and pay all my dad. what is obama going to cut customer i do support the defense cuts. to you support the bill introduced by ron paul? guest: i started out as a person who was worried that if we start mucking around with the fed with the perspective from congress, that we would undermine the independence of the fed which i think should be able to focus on interest rates and promoting full employment and keeping inflation low. i was worried about that. i have come to the point of view that greater accountability in the fed is probably a good idea. i am here to it meant that my views on this issue have been
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carefully looked at over time and have changed. i am more open to that concept that i was based on my reading. the president has talked about some significant cuts. he was talking about $4 trillion worth of cuts too long ago. i do not think austerity is the direction we should be going in but it is absolutely true that there has been with in this to look at cuts on certain programs. i am not going to ask people to take cuts when the people at the top of the income scale or people who have been most fortunate and have gotten the largest from the tax cuts over the last 10 years are not going to be asked to do anything. we are going to have to see something from all sides. we have already seen cuts from
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students. now it is time for people who have benefited the most to do more. host: let's go to georgia on the democratic line. you are on with congressman ellison. thisr: how're you doing morning? a couple questions. why is our government giving billions of dollars in foreign aid to countries that support terrorist? when we are having so much trouble here? that is one of my questions. another question is with gas prices as high as they are and the cost of living, why hasn't minimum-wage doubled? in a low income home, for foklks to make it, they would have to make $18 and our.
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guest: first of all, i am fully in support of increasing the minimum wage. i think it should be indexed to wage increases of ceo's and executives. if an executive makes more money, i think people at the bottom of the income scale should get more money, too. we are together and i need your help to keep pushing for minimum wage. by raising that issue, you are making an important contribution because you are letting the americans know that the minimum wage has not even kept pace with inflation or ceo pay. thank you. secondly, i am a person who supports foreign aid. you should know that foreign aid is about 0.3%, significantly less than 1%. host: for the entire federal
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budget. guest: yes. what do we do with that 0.3%? we help poor people in africa dying from aids could not die from aids. i am very proud of our program. this is a bush era program. the response to hiv and aids. what else do we do? we make sure there are international treaties regarding health. we help support other important things to help starving people around the globe and we make sure that when there are disasters in places like somalia or indonesia or other parts of the globe, that america is there to make sure we are helping the world deal with great disasters. i am one of those people who supports foreign aid. it is a tiny part of our budget. we are having tough times.
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what i am calling for is let's not take it out of the tiniest part of the budget. let's cut some money out of the military budget. let's ask for medicare to negotiate drug prices. lets close off some of these loopholes. money where the money is. let's go for the reallmoney whee money is. that is the way we solve these problems. not just cutting off aid to any program that does a lot of good. host: you are on with congressman ellison. guestcaller: i think what what reagan said is correct. a government that can give you everything but take everything
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from you. you very socialist. what is going on right now is socialism versus capitalism been big nowhere in the constitution doesn't guarantee everyone a freebie handout who is not working. i think there should be a flat tax and everybody pays their fair share of. go over to europe or greece. they are broke because that system does not work. ornia. stockton, calif stockton declare bankruptcy because of your system. guest: thank you for calling. america is not a pure capitalist country or a pure socialist country. nor do i propose socialism. it is a mixed economy. it is an economy that has one of
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the freest private sectors in the world and has allowed entrepreneurs to come up with great products to make our lives better. also, we have an important public sector role to pllay. two inventions that came from government that i am sure you like. the internet, yes. darpa is a government agency that funded the initial project that we now know as the internet. that was the government. when president clinton ordered that we sequenced the human genome, that has led to medical discoveries that have helped to benefit life. what about the interstate highway under eisenhower? government as well. i think the difficulty that we are having is that you think we live in a pure plays a fair
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economy. you are also making the mistake saying that someone like me is advocating for no private sector role which is certainly support. i used to own my own law forfir. but we need a mixed economy. there are things that we do together. we are trying to find the right mix. accusing the other side of being all bad or all good really does not help. host: do you want to talk about the flat tax? guest: i believe in progressive taxation. we should have a higher degree of taxation on people that you make more. the robin hood tax proposal is a transaction tax on financial transactions.
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stock purchases and derivatives, bonds, very tiny tax on these kind of transactions. it would help our country get some much-needed revenue. two, it would slow down this high velocity trading that is done based on computer algorithms that is causing significant disruption in our financial markets. this is an idea, something to try to generate more revenue. it would noit is not an income . about 49 other countries do it. germany, japan, england. the united states used to do it.
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we used to have a transaction tax in the united states and our economy grew during those years. this is time to look at an idea like this. there is also a version of a flat tax. we need to really look at all aspects of how we get revenue in the system. this transaction tax is a good idea. host: let's go to richard on the independent line. caller: good morning. listen, i would like to say that in the first place, it wasn't at the 99% that brought the country down to its knees bending it was the 1%. as far as taxes, the rate is 35%.
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you cannot even find one that pays 35% because of the loopholes. they talk about $250,000. i believe the wage of a working family is somewhere around $40,000. in order to straighten everything out in this country, the first thing that has to be done is you have to ban lobbyists from bringing any money to congress. you can love your government, but when they bring billions of dollars a year to buy votes, how are you supposed to run the country when you can buy a politician? guest: first of all, i want to stand up for citizen lobbyist who communicate with their elected members of congress.
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when you have somebody that is representing a special commercial interest who is saying give us a loophole or a sweetener, rarely is that they could then. the bottom line is, money has a corrosive influence on politics. yes, i do have to fund raise like other politicians but i would love it if i did not have to. it would be great if we said corporations cannot use their treasury to put money into campaigns. it would be great if we said citizen lobbyist can come on to capitol hill and say and do what they want. when commercial interest walked to the door to try to get politicians to put things into bills so they company could increase their profitability, i think that we should step forward.
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richard, i want to thank you for raising some important points and and the sizing this idea that money has a corrosive influence on politics and is not helping the nation. in many cases, it is doing the opposite. host: i want to get you to comment on nancy pelosi proposed decision to remain in congress and remained in her leadership role. guest: i am an enormous fan of the policy. she is an historic leader because she is one of the most productive that this nation has ever seen them back into pelosi is a legislation passed bashing machine. barack obama is a great president and was indispensable in getting the health care bill through. their real hero of that was